The various GOAT polls have made me wonder just what is the formula for GOAT... Comparing eras is a silly prospect no matter what the sport. It's like putting a 350 lb current-day defensive lineman against a 225 lb offensive lineman from the '50s (or even the '70s). The old-timey O-lineman wouldn't last...or should I say, his QB wouldn't last. Today's tennis athlete and equipment has evolved to the point that #50 in the world right now (keeping equipment the same relative to the era) would put a regular thumping on Tilden, Perry, Budge, Kramer, Gonzalez, or Rosewall. If you don't agree with this then I'd advise advise you to go out and play with your peers using a wood racket. I'd also suggest that you compare contemporary Track and Field World Records to those of eras 30-50-70 years ago. Today's athlete is superior no matter the sport. When we compare eras in a sport like Track and Field, where the athletes are obviously evolving, what other variable are you gonna use to compare but the of number and variety of championships won. This is why Jesse Owens and Carl Lewis will be debated on until the next sprinter-jumper comes along. The "most complete" tennis players from different eras is decided by how they competed on, and won championships on all surfaces in their own era...what else can you do? Lets say we're gonna try to figure out GOAT. How else can you boil it down but to use these two variables, or filters: total number of Majors won and variety of surfaces those majors were won on (and if and how much more value a grand slam is in relation to a calendar slam). One way is to start with the "club" for only guys who've won 10 or more majors. That club only consists of 6 guys: Tilden, Laver, Bjorg, Emerson, Sampras and Federer. Now how are you gonna narrow that down but to add the filter of greatest number of surfaces on which those slams were won...now we are down to Laver, Emerson, and Federer...the ONLY to have won more than 10 and on all surfaces. Now you have to decide what is more important...total number of slams won relative to if a "calendar slam" is better than a "career slam" (taking into account here my opinion that those guys wouldn't have their grand slams if Fed in his prime played with them in the early '60s). Sampras is NOT EVEN in this debate when structured this way. Laver has the edge if grand slam is cooler than career slam...which it should be. But if we increase the number of majors and just go by surfaces won on during career, Laver (11) falls out before Emerson (12) does. So we're stuck with this group of three...Fed, Laver and Emerson. OR you could go by total number of slams won as your first variable (which is how it seems to be done lately)...two guys at 14...now how else are you gonna narrow it down but to add the filter of number of surfaces won on...now we are down to only Fed. OR you could start with the group of guys who've won on all 5 surfaces, this club also including six: Aggasi, Budge, Laver, Emerson, Perry and Federer. How else are you gonna narrow this one down but to increase the number of total majors won...Budge drops-out first with 6, then Agassi and Perry at 8, next Laver at 11, and then its just Emerson and Federer with 12 and 14 respectively. 14 > 12, so it comes down to Federer. We can't really start with Grand Slams won because there are only two guys with them and one of those guys has only 6 majors total. So, maybe we could say one Grand (calendar) Slam equals one extra major applied to your total and a Career Slam equals one-half a major applied to your total majors. If you do this, Federer still gets the nod by a major as of right now. IMO it comes down between Federer, Laver and Emerson because of all the variables and filters involved above: total majors, and career slam versus grand slam (and I haven't even applied Fed's 20 straight major semi-finals). I put a higher value on the completeness of a champion of all surfaces more so than just greatest total. Even before last weekend I put Federer over Sampras because of his three previous FO finals and one semi. Either way you boil it down, Federer is the only guy in all conversations and for that reason I'd fill him in as the GOAT...with pencil. When he get's his 15th slam I'll feel confident enough to write him in with pen. What do ya'll think? What other filters could you apply (without getting into doubles and such)? Who is your GOAT?